Many of us make health-related resolutions, such as losing weight, stopping smoking, or joining the neighborhood health club as ways to be healthy. While it is common to set high goals, experts say that setting smaller goals could do more for us as steps to a healthy lifestyle.
“Small steps are achievable and are easier to fit into your daily routine,” says James O. Hill, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. “They are less overwhelming than a big, sudden change.”
Here are 10 ways to be healthy every day
Stop gaining weight:
Even if you gain just a pound or two every year, the extra weight adds up quickly. Avoid those foods, drinks, and stressors that pack on the pounds. Part of the steps to a healthy lifestyle includes being mindful of what you are eating. Not eating sugary drinks or foods, as well as processed foods can be helpful to your overall health and well-being as one of the ways to be healthy.
Take more small steps:
Use a pedometer to count your daily steps; then add 2,000, the equivalent of one extra mile. Keep adding steps, 1,000 to 2,000 each month or so, until you take 10,000 steps on most days. These literally are steps to a healthy lifestyle, movement is one of the ways to be healthy for greater heart health as well as the movement of muscles, ligaments, and joints.
Breakfast eaters tend to weigh less and have better diets overall. A filling and nutrition-packed breakfast with high protein is one of the steps to a healthy lifestyle and one of the ways to be healthy.
Switch three-grain servings each day to whole grain:
If you’re like the average person, you may well eat less than one whole grain servings a day. Finding gluten-free options that are high in fiber can help short-chain fatty acids in the gut to allow for healthy pre and probiotic formation. One of the steps to a healthy lifestyle is understanding what foods are helpful and what foods are harmful to the system.
Have at least one green salad every day:
Eating a salad (with low-fat or fat-free dressing) is filling and may help you eat less during the meal. It also counts toward your five daily cups of vegetables and fruits as one of the ways to be healthy.
Trim the fat:
Fat has a lot of calories, and calories count. Purchase lean meats, eat poultry without the skin, switch to lower-fat cheeses, and use a non-stick pan with only a dab of oil or butter. Lowering the fat can help the digestive process and allow for the body’s metabolism to run more smoothly.
The smaller the bag, bottle, or bowl, the less you will eat. Being mindful of the quality and quantity of your foods is key as well. You may overeat or eat the wrong things. Overindulgence can be a trap to steps toward a healthy lifestyle so make sure that you are mindful of what you are eating, when, and why.
Lose just 5 to 10 percent of your current weight:
The health benefits are huge-lower blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides. Especially, visceral fat. Reducing visceral fat or fat around your organs is one of the ways to be healthy, by eliminating and reducing the fat around your organs you are at less risk for health-related issues.
Keep track of your eating:
Write down what you eat over the next couple of days and look for problem spots. Often, just writing things down can help you eat less and allow you to be more conscious of what you are eating. This can prove to be one of the ways to be healthy as you begin to plan your meals and are more mindful of what you are eating.
If you’re vegan swap out the dairy and cheese for plant-based milk and be mindful to eat as many whole foods as possible and avoid lots of processed foods that can be high in sugars and salts. Eat good fats such as almond butter and avocado.
It takes time to develop steps to a healthy lifestyle, it also takes persistent action over time. Be patient with yourself start one step at a time and try to get into the habit of being healthy. As you continue to improve your health little by little you will start to feel better which becomes a motivator over time. If you need support along the journey feels free to reach out or try one of our online courses, which can be helpful.